Anyone can ask for contraception, no matter how old they are. If you are under 16 a doctor, nurse or health worker can prescribe you contraception if they believe you have enough understanding of the decision you are making.

You can get free contraception at your nearest Brook Centre, young person's service, family planning clinic or at your GP surgery.

When you see a doctor or nurse they will ask you a few questions about your health and your family's health. They will also check your height, weight and blood pressure. This is so they can make sure there aren't any medical reasons why you can't use a particular method of contraception.

They will help you decide which is the best method of contraception for you and they will be able to answer all of your questions so don't forget to ask lots.

A doctor or nurse will also tell you about the importance of using condoms and make sure you know how to put one on correctly so that you and your partner can protect yourselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

What if I am under 16?

If you are under 16, a doctor or nurse can give you contraception if they are confident that you have enough understanding of the decision you are making. They will always encourage you to talk to your parents or carers about your decision. Sometimes, a doctor or nurse may decide that a young person under 16 is not mature enough to make their own decisions about their treatment without their parent's or carers involvement. They would encourage you to talk to your parent or carer, but they would not tell anyone about your consultation.

You can buy condoms whatever age you are. You can buy them at high street chemists, like Boots or Superdrug, at some larger supermarkets, petrol stations, pubs and vending machines in toilets.

There are no laws to stop under 16s buying condoms or any laws to stop shopkeepers selling them to under 16s.

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